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Episode 404

Natasha – Twin birth story, elective caesarean

In this episode Natasha discusses her fraternal twin pregnancy and her choice to have a planned caesarean. She opted for private obstetric care with a doctor who specialised in high risk and twin pregnancies and experienced a relatively smooth pregnancy aside from severe nausea in the first trimester and back pain in the third. When she started developing symptoms of pre-eclampsia, her caesarean was brought forward. She talks in detail about the highs and lows of early postpartum and what it’s really like to care for two babies at once.

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“Our pregnancy wasn’t planned but we weren’t being careful, either. When I was 22 I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and just after I got married last year my doctor recommended coming off the pill to give my body time to adjust and prepare for conception.

“I felt dehydrated which was strange for me, so I did a pregnancy test and it was positive. I did five tests till I believed it. My husband was happy but shocked because neither of us thought it would happen so quickly.

“I did a blood test to confirm the pregnancy and when the results came back the hcg levels were really high so I was sent for an ultrasound. That’s when it was confirmed that I was having twins. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say to the sonographer. They’re fraternal twins but there’s no family history of twins on either side.

“My husband was so excited but I was thinking about the practicalities and logistics and thinking about everything we would need. I was really sick after about 9 weeks; I wasn’t vomiting but I was dry heaving and really nauseous and I couldn’t eat because the smell of food just made me feel so awful.

“I had private health insurance so I chose an obstetrician who specialised in twin pregnancies. In my first appointment I was quite worried but my obstetrician took us through the risks associated with twins and how my care would be managed. I had monthly ultrasounds for 30 weeks and then fortnightly scans after that. At 24 weeks my obstetrician talked to us about my birth options and between then and the next appointment I decided to have a planned caesarean.

“Once I got past the morning sickness, I really enjoyed being pregnant. But the third trimester was hard. I was seeing a women’s health physio to manage the pain but it got to the point where I was struggling. I’m also a primary school teacher and I really felt pressure in my back and legs.

“The caesarean was planned for 38+5 but I got to 36 weeks and my blood pressure was a bit high. My obstetrician told me that if I wasn’t feeling well I should call her and when I woke up a few days later feeling light-headed, I called the hospital and they encouraged me to come in. My blood pressure was really high and I had swollen feet which are signs of preeclampsia. I was monitored for the day and they admitted me. They gave me an injection to help with the boys’ lung development and the next day the caesarean was booked.

“I was anxious and excited. It only took about ten minutes for the boys to be born; it took them longer to stitch me up. Once they were born it was a bit of a blur. Twin A – Austin – wasn’t breathing so he went on oxygen, whereas Twin B – Nate – was crying. The doctors were really happy with the boys’ weights.

“I found it really hard at the beginning. I had a lot of help; my husband was home for seven weeks and we had family support but I found it hard to come to terms with having two babies. When I was pumping I felt like a robot; just doing the same things every day. I was mindful of my feelings and really made choices that felt best.

“I started going to a mother’s group and we all still chat. We try to catch up here and there. There’s about 12 of us who get along really well and we live in the same area and we often message each other and someone will reply. It’s comforting to know we’re all going through the same thing.

“They’re eight months now and it’s a bit harder because I put them down and they move pretty quickly so we’re had to put lots of baby gates up. I’m enjoying it more now.”

Topics Discussed

Fraternal twins, PCOS, Planned caesarean, Pre-eclampsia, Private obstetrician

Episode Sponsor

For over 33 years, Fernwood Fitness has led the way in women’s health, fitness and wellness. Their inclusive women’s-only health clubs offer personal guidance from expert trainers who specialise in pre and postnatal exercise.

Featuring state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, group fitness classes, reformer pilates, and bathrooms stocked with toiletries and hair straighteners, Fernwood is a welcoming wellness destination that has it all.

Fernwood’s female trainers work one-on-one with women who want to stay strong during pregnancy, as well as those looking to make a safe and supported return to exercise in postpartum. With childcare facilities in some locations and an online hub so you can workout, stretch and meditate from home, Fernwood will guide you into your next phase of fitness with confidence. You can go into the draw to win a 6-month membership for you and a friend – all entrants also receive a free class pass.

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